Deer Isle—Deer Isle-Stonington girls basketball coach Randy Shepard was honored as Coach of the Year among girls Class D North by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches.
“I was shocked,” Shepard said after he was notified that he had been recognized by his fellow coaches last week to receive the award.
As MABC Coach of the Year, Shepard will serve as the McDonald’s All-Star Coach for the girls Class D North all-star team, and be considered for the Maine girls coach of the year across all classes and divisions through a voting process after the playoffs.
Shepard said that his team’s undefeated record played a big part in being recognized by his peers, but noted, “The team went undefeated, not the coach. It’s got my name on it, but it’s a big honor for the team.”
An assistant coach for two years under Darren Eaton, Shepard moved into the head coach position four seasons ago, and said continuity was important for the team.
“There’s a lot of turnovers [in coaches] these days. If you get them [players] their first year, they learn your system and you can keep working on it. You can bring the new ones along faster.”
And while Shepard may be the coach he said basketball success comes as a team, which includes the school, parents and community.
“It’s a team effort, 100 percent,” he said. “It’s all about the name on the front [of the jersey], not on the back.”
He said that he’s gotten great support from DISHS principal and athletic director Ed Hatch, and some parents have even scouted teams the Mariners were scheduled to play for him, and decorated the bus for the team’s away games.
“They’ve been great. Nowadays, that’s rare.”
That support isn’t new this year, he noted. The team “had really good support even in not good seasons. That’s huge. That’s not something a coach can do.”